Many, especially women groups and individuals have been talking about women being equal to men. Some have also been demanding for inheritance rights which, of course is subject to deliberation being a cultural issue. It may be revealing for many, especially Women Rights Activists, that the term equality is a very shallow and narrow notion to describe human beings. It may be noted that the word, “equality” is primarily a political language. In point of fact the word “Equal” is only specific to Arithmetic and Geometry and so to talk about equality among men and women, arithmetically, is not reasonable for the simple reason that equality among human beings cannot and must not be measured.
The demanding issue before us is to correct our false and limited understanding of what man and woman are. Why waste time on the issue of equality of man and woman as if these two beings are robots. Man and woman are species. We must realize that male and female are matchless, inequitable species that cannot be equated at all. These two inseparable species are so unique in themselves that man can never take the place of a woman nor can a woman take the place of a man. Both are created or evolved to remain unique. In fact, creation point of speaking a woman is superior to man. Taking the analogy of the biblical story where man was made out of clay while a woman was created out of the rib of man, we see here that man was created out of a raw material; clay, whereas a woman was created out of a perfected and refined matter; the rib and this makes woman purer, as a created being, than man.
Having said thus, can we achieve equality of man and woman? Equality among men and men, women and women and man and woman is not a question of possibility because of the fact that every human being, be it men or women, is gifted with varied talents and capabilities. But this does not mean that a person with more functional qualities is superior to less gifted person. For instance every man or woman cannot be a doctor or an engineer or an officer. So also every woman and man cannot be a biological parent as some are destined to be barren or impotent. However, this physical condition does in no way make them less human. In the same manner everybody cannot be a footballer or a leader. Some will be officers and some will be peons but in no way the peon or chawkidar is an inferior being.
The notion of peace cannot be established by demand or protest. We can’t demand Peace because it cannot be given since it is only a product of justice, law and order, progress and social security. To bring about peace, we must demand justice, development and good governance. Similarly, the notion of Equality being only an effect of an attitude it cannot be achieved by means of protest or demand. It can be brought about only by way of creating an environment of respect and love for each other. In other words, the only way to understand equality is by realizing the truth that all human beings are born with honor and dignity and the bare reality that all human beings are born naked and shall turn to dust in death. It means that only death can bring perfect equality to all men and women.
In conclusion, Equality is not the issue that one should be wasting time on but the necessity is to dwell on persistent fight against corruption of all sorts, against selfish leaders, against our parochialism, ignorance, arrogance and wrong attitudes towards life, towards other fellow beings and society. Once this is strong in everyone’s attitude the fruit of equality shall dawn on our societies. In the absence of the feeling of dignity in every man and woman, even the women group who are fighting for equality with men may end up with mere momentary benefit of their leaders amidst continued feeling of inequality among them on the basis of their social position, caste, creed, race and class. This unhealthy mentality is the real battle to be won and not fighting for equality with men when there is no equality even among men. Just and honest living, respecting life and fearing nothing except God can bring about equality among all of us.
* Disclaimer. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Nagaland Page.